Complete prevention of blood loss with self-sealing haemostatic needles
In recently reported research by KAIST researchers in the Department of Chemistry, a greatly improved medical implement was developed and reported involving a coated needle that does not leave a puncture wound when tested on live subjects. The needle surface involves a coating that goes from solid to gel form; the molecular design comes from secretions found in nature (mussels) in which catecholamine polymers were used. The needles were tested on hemophiliac mice and excellent survival rates were found versus control specimens.
In all clinical situations, needle injections are always required, and bleeding from the resultant puncture wounds is unavoidable. In normal patients, such bleeding causes little to no harm; however, serious problems often arise for patients with incurable diseases, such as diabetes, advanced cancer, haemophilia, as well as people who take anti-thrombotic drugs, aspirin. They suffer from delayed haemostasis and side effects, viral infections – and even death – in the case of severe hemophilia. For the first time, researchers led by Professor Haeshin Lee in the Department of Chemistry at KAIST developed an unprecedented haemostatic needle that does not cause any bleeding after injection. The surface of this needle was coated with mussel-inspired catecholamine polymers capable of undergoing a phase-transition process from solid to gel after blood contact. The gel was fixed on the punctured tissue, which plays a critical role for self-sealing properties of the needles. The haemostatic needles are effective for both normal and impaired bleeding (haemophilia). Hemophilic mice injected with needles with the phase-transition properties exhibited a 100% survival rate, whereas control mice injected with commercial needles experienced a 0% survival rate. This novel process may be useful for the development of therapeutic/diagnostic biomedical devices with haemostatic capabilities.